Sunday, July 22, 2018

Part 6: Sarah Eva Howe's Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton – in Her Own Neighborhood, Close to the Methodist and Baptist Churches

In the previous post, we stood at Third and High, where the Haffords and the Websters lived. Today, we continue down Third Street and then over to Fourth. You can follow Sarah using a modern map of Carrollton or the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Carrollton in 1898. As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

Please remember that Sarah is writing in the early 1940s, and her memories of dates and places may not always precisely match history.

Down on Third Street, next to Mrs. Webster’s, lived the Beelers, Irish as the Isle itself and good Catholics. Miss Mary still lives there in the same house, I believe; I saw her not long ago. I believe her brother John is still living there too. They had a cow, and we sometimes used to get milk or cream from them. I am not sure the DeMints lived next door then or moved in afterwards in a small frame house sort of “on stilts.” Of course, the Howe home occupied the half square opposite, stretching halfway from High to Main and halfway from Third to Fourth, or to the alley, before you came to the church. I am not going to describe the place here but will do so when telling how it unfolded on my dazzled sight when we took up our residence in it.

At one side of it on Third was the big brick house (with nothing but a large bare room on the lower floor, which was afterwards the home of the famous Hutchinson family, colored, all of whom worked for our family in some capacity) belonging to the Masonic Lodge, where the entire upper floor was given over to Lodge doings. I went up there just once, I forget on what errand or pretext, but as I was as, as always, looking for animals I was disappointed in not finding any goat, or signs of one, as I had been led to expect. Instead, a lot of ashes and dust and stuffy looking costumes were all that could be seen on a cursory inspection.

Next to this brick building was the Harrison home, Mr. & Mrs. Harrison, older people lived there, and Maggie Branham and her mother, who was the Harrison’s daughter. Maggie’s mother was DIVORCED from her husband, someone said in a whisper, and he had married again and lived on Main Street with his new wife, and kept Maggie’s brother Harry, while her mother took her. The father’s name was Ophalius Branham, yes, it was indeed -- really grounds for divorce in itself, and he was generally called by it without much shortening, except by some of the men. There was a Harrison boy who had been Papa’s [Sarah's father Robert James Howe] friend, but he died -- I am of the faint idea that it was he who owned the little volumes of poetry we gave Wally. Theodore, I believe his name was. Maggie was about my age, Harry a little older, thinking of it, I imagine maybe he was named Harrison, Harry for short.

The home of Sarah's grandparents, John Howe and his second wife Jane Hopkins Bell Howe. Photo and caption from Carroll County by Phyllis Codling McLaughlin (Arcadia Publishing, 2012)
Gracefully leaping over Howe’s yard, or going in at the “churchyard gate” and under the summer kitchen porch and up the diagonal path by the ice house out by the side gate on the way to the church, and passing on High Street the house temporarily the home of the Haffords, we could see two houses on the corner of 4th and High, but only one had its front gate on High Street, a long low red house with a high wall terracing its yard, topped with an iron fence, and a large cedar tree on each side [of] the front walk. This was next to the Methodist Church and with it, the only occupant of the whole square on that side. Mr. & Mrs. Fishback lived there (of them more later on), (for they were the ones who moved out when we moved in). The house opposite us, fronting on 4th St., was the home of a Swiss-German couple Jacob Keller and his wife Mary, and his sister Lizzie, a tiny squat picture book person who could have stepped out of an Alps prospectus -- as indeed so could Jake and his wife. They had lived farther out in town, near the cemetery and near the Scheiffelbeins, who I suppose were Swiss, too -- anyway, Papa and Uncle Joe [Sarah's paternal uncle William F. Howe] used to play with the boys of the family right where both are now buried (as Uncle Joe said with real pleasure when we bought Papa’s lot), before that was part of the cemetery. [Note: It's my understanding that William F. Howe, his wife Louisiana Winslow Howe, and their unmarried daughters Lillie and Jenn lived in what became known as the Winslow-Howe Homestead on Fifth near High (now Highland). He bought the house in the late 1870s.]

Jake’s [first?] wife died, and finally he induced Mary to come and keep house for him. (I suppose Lizzie hadn’t come to town then.) [Mary] trial marriaged him for a week or a month, I forgot which, then they invited the wedding guests (of whom Miss Hallie Masterson’s mother (and Miss Hallie) were counted, and I imagine perhaps the other neighbors (they didn’t know the Howes yet, as [the Keller's] lived so far out at that time), and Mary got the wedding supper, served the guests, cleaned up, then took off her apron and came in and was married (by a preacher, not a priest, for she, tho a Catholic, had neglected her connections and Jake was a rigid Protestant). She was a good neighbor and friend to my own Grandma Howe, living there even before Aunt Lizzie [Sarah's paternal aunt Elizabeth M. Howe, who died in 1869] died.

Of course the Baptist Church was across from Mrs. Keller’s, with doors opening on High St. In the basement of this church (before it was rebuilt of course) was the Academy or private school which the Howe children, the Winslows, and Conns and others attended, and where I suppose Professor Joyeaux (who fell in love with Papa’s sister Lizzie), the French writing teacher, plied his trade. I saw a letter from him to Papa written after Aunt Lizzie died, in violet ink, that was really a beautiful thing, so exquisitely written, as became a teacher of the graphic arts.

Now on the side of the street we afterwards lived on, across from “our house,” were good looking brick buildings clear up the street to 5th; while on the other side, from 4th (after the church) to the corner were almost tumble-down little lonely frame houses, flush with the street, with a deep basement, dark and damp looking, beneath them, and long, rickety steps down -- a small town is like that. In all my experience, those houses were never painted, nor ever occupied, of course, by “prosperity.” 

In the farthest house from the church lived a Catholic family, the Niemillers, a big family, too, in a small house, but they spread out some, for they were industrious and smart and soon had good jobs. Theodore, the oldest, as I said, drove the bus & horses back & forth from Worthville; it was a big affair, almost like a stagecoach, and very cold in winter when they put straw over the floor. 
The "bus" of that day probably looked much like this one, which was refurbished for use in the 1940s. (Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Library of Congress)
The oldest girl married one of the Grobmeyer boys (not Ed or Cass’s family, but another cousin) and was the mother of Harold Tambrink’s wife, and “Bill” Grobmeier, remember him? Rebecca or “Becky” was a fine cook and housekeeper and worked for Mrs. Winslow for years from the time she was a little girl. She finally married Casper Feller, and they lived on 5th Street, you remember, next to “Grocery Ed Hill,” when we lived out there. One of the boys, Albert, married Maggie Donnelly, and Amelia, “Melie” as we called her, married and went to Cincinnati to live. I think her name is now “Majolinsky.” But they all grew up there on High Street. 

************************ Coming next week: The final part of this series ************************

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Part 5: Sarah Eva Howe's Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton; From "Way Out Past Seminary" to High and Main Streets

In Part 5 of Sarah Eva Howe's "Book of Recollections," Sarah recalls some families living beyond Seminar on 7th before returning to Main and High streets – the heart of old Carrollton, Kentucky.

As before, I will occasionally omit some  descriptions and indicate each omission with an ellipsis. If you want the omitted information, please email me at the address included under the "About" tab.

You can follow Sarah using a modern map of Carrollton ( or the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Carrollton in 1898.

As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

And now I’ll just have to skip around, for when I get beyond the schoolhouse, it is unknown country of my early years. Stamp’s Store was the grocery where Jasper’s is now — Laura Stamp was a very little girl (she afterwards was my nurse when David was born). About ’91, the Garretts moved to town and came to our church, where we saw a lot of them — more about them later; they lived in a big house with large grounds on the other side of the big house where Mr. John Tharp lived for so long. In one of the houses along there lived the Allie Pulliams. . . . ; further on lived Mr. Tate, a carpenter, very nice looking old man with a tiny VanDyke white beard, whose son Randall . . . was a great baseball player. Miss Mary King and he were sweethearts at one time (opposed by James G. King [James Guthrie King, grandfather of Sarah's husband William Levi Salyers]). Then at last came the two-story frame in the big farmland that belonged to Grandpa King, of whom in those days I knew less than nothing! I don’t know just when they bought the place and moved to town, but I suppose it was almost 1890; and on the other side of the road (for the “street” had become a “road” a good deal further down toward town) was the Bridges place, a big house, a big farm, and a remarkable family. (More about them later.) The road led on down past the Blue Lick or “Lick Well” as everyone called it, to the river. 

As to 7th Street, from Seminary on out, it was more than unknown to me. Even in 1900 it was still “way out on 7th Street” to me and seemed an immense distance from the heart of town where most of our life went on. I will mention just two interesting families, one of which stayed out in town while the other moved down to Main Street before I really knew any of them. The first was the Marlett family, who seem to have moved out there from upper Main Street — as both George & Charlie worked at the woolen mill — and started a store. (“Artie’s” father it was who kept the store. They probably had French blood — they always had a voyageur-piratical look! — but they didn’t spell their name Marlette then. 

The other family came to Carrollton “way back there.” I don’t know whether they came direct from the old country there or not, but they were from Scotland, tho they had lived in Ireland for awhile, where Miss Lydia, the youngest, was born. Their name, of course, was Shaw. They lived in 1890 in the house where the McCrackens have lived on 7th Street for many years now. Mr. Shaw was, I imagine, brought to Carrollton by M. I. Barker, who with his family caused more speculation and conversation than almost anyone who came in. Mr. Barker, a huge man, gave a lot of people work and made a good deal of money himself. He used to go to Maine every summer to a camp, and from there about 1892 he brought the Maddox family — “Maddocks” I believe they spelled it. They took the house after the Shaws moved down to the big brick on Main Street a little up the street from the “Old Store.” The oldest Shaw, daughter Lizzie, married a Mr. Clark and was already separated from him and living at home when we came to town; she had a boy, Will, a tall, gangling youngster of about 12 or 14. Mary, the next daughter, had married John Lewis, the elder half-brother of George Lewis, who married Ida Booker, Josie King’s friend. Another daughter, Jennie Shaw, . . . studied music. . . . Lydia [presumably another Shaw daughter] was “going with” Jim Goslee [for a while].  . . . 

Jennie was a member of the Methodist Church, as were all of her family except Miss Maggie (and by the way, I left her out in telling about the sisters; . . .  She was the one who became matron of the orphanage at Anchorage), who was a strict Presbyterian. . . . 

Well, with the exception of a few families I will speak of later who lived on these side streets toward the river (Kentucky) and a few out 4th Street near the factory, I have covered the town away from the waterfront and now, at last, have come to the place where we really lived, which will have to have a diagram all its own. [Unfortunately, I have found no diagram in Sarah's papers.] I will start with High Street [now Highland], leaving out Second, which by that time, mostly because of floods in '83 and '84, were so bad — was being vacated by all the families at all able to go elsewhere and was being known as “Frogtown” already, tho the Albert Jetts didn’t move for several years after 1890 from their big home back of Grandma Howe’s, not till after the funeral of their little boy James, which I well remember (I was about 8 years old, I guess, when he died). Dad [Sarah's husband, William Levi Salyers] was born in the house across the street from the Jetts, but by this time it was in pretty bad shape, and of course Grandad [possibly Charles David Salyers] had moved “out in town” about 11 years before we came.

Here then is High and Main and intersections. I’ll take High Street first, as it will take up less time than the intensely interesting area of over-populous Main Street.

Portion of Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Carrollton, Kentucky, 1898
Coming up the hill from the Kentucky River -- only a ferry crossed it then, of course — the first large house was the one newly built on the highest part of that end of town — the Hafford house; but when we came, it was not yet finished, and the family were living in the house afterwards bought and now occupied by John Glauber[?], opposite the Methodist Church. Before the family was able to get into the new home, Mr. Hafford died of a heart attack as he was cleaning up the yard preparatory to moving the family in. This was another remarkable family, and as Mr. Hafford was pretty close kin to Granddad, you should know about them. Mrs. Hafford was a Malcolmson from back of Lamb[?] or near where the Lamsons lived; Mr. Hafford's Uncle or Cousin Eben, as the Salyers boys called him sometimes, was the son of one of the Lamson girls (Uncle Wallace’s sister or aunt, I’m not sure which, but Mrs. Adkinson, mother of Buford and Austin Sr., was another sister. I must ask Cousin Ed, but I believe Grandad’s mother was a first cousin of Mr. Hafford and the Adkinson boys’ mother. 

Mr. Hafford as a very just, fine man, tho he claimed to be an atheist follower of Tom Paine — an agnostic, rather. Mrs. Hafford was a woman of strong character, strong likes & hates, but devoted to her family and very shrewd to say the least, in a business deal.  . . . The boys of the family, except Wilbur, the baby, had died young, one as a small child, another was drowned, and Will died of heart failure just a little while before his expected wedding day. The girls were all good looking; all were smart and given good educations, but Lida was the most brainy and talented of all. Julia married T. H. Karn of Owensboro and lived there many years. (Lida went to high school there and stayed with them.) They had one child, Hafford Karn, who died in his second summer on a visit to Carrollton. Except for Wilbur’s children, long after, he was the only grandchild of this large family. Lucy married George Winslow, but not till about 1892; Mary married Sid[?] Wood some time later; Nettie never married at all, nor did Flora; Nell and Linda both married rich elderly widowers with grown children. Wilbur married a Southern girl and became a specialist (eye ear etc.) and lives in Waycross, Georgia. But when we went to Carrollton he was a very small boy, Lida next older than he was, two years older than I, or eight years old, and Nell, next older, was about twelve.

That was certainly a lovely yard to play in, full of flowers and fruit trees, and especially fine apple trees. When Wilbur was able to pull a little wagon, he sold apples from his own tree, about 15 cents a dishpan full – the juiciest eating apples I ever ate.

 Between the Hafford's new house and the church was a pasture, a steep hill going down just like the church yard does, with quite a big pond at the bottom. This used to freeze over, and lots of people went skating on it, tho most preferred “Winslow’s pond” farther up High Street. It made a good coasting place, too, but I didn’t believe I ever went on it; mostly little boys went there, and Mama was always afraid I’d get hurt.

Across from the Haffords on the other corner of 3rd and High lived Mrs. Webster and the boys, but before that Mrs. King and Mr. [T.C.] King and Ernest, their little boy, lived there (she died last year — her son Ernest, also dead, was the husband of Mary Masterson, who lived here in Louisville). They were there just a little while after we came to live at Uncle Joe’s, then the Websters moved in. Mr. Webster kept a grocery at the corner of 3rd & Main opposite Howe Bros. — of which more “anon.” Mrs. Webster was not (as I said a little previously in my narrative) the half-sister but the step-daughter of Mr. Lowe, the Englishman, I remembered afterwards. . . .  She had a little daughter, Cora, and she married Harry Grigsby, whose son Harry Jr.was Bob's [Sarah's son Robert King Salyers] good friend when he was in school and even afterwards in Lexington where Harry was in business.

                                ********************  To Be Continued  ********************

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Part 4: Sarah's House-to-House Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton, Kentucky; Meet the Wilsons, the Hanks, the Strattons, and Others Who Lived on Seminary and 6th

In Part 4 of Sarah Eva Howe's "Book of Recollections," Sarah recalls some families living on and around Seminary Street and Sixth Street. Sarah is writing to her daughter, so her references to "Dad" refer not to her daughter's father and Sarah's husband, William Levi Salyers.

As before, I will occasionally omit some  descriptions and indicate each omission with an ellipsis. If you want the omitted information, please email me at the address included under the "About" tab.

Again, you can follow Sarah using a modern map of Carrollton ( or the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Carrollton in 1898.

As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

From Sarah's writings:
Going back to Seminary again, and taking the left side of the street, as you go out, the Wilsons lived on the corner (not in the house that Cora’s husband built that stands there now). R. J. Wilson was a strange man, a maker of tombstones, and I think his family too had a pretty hard time as they grew up.   . . . There were five sisters and two brothers; Marion, the oldest, married Amy Lanham (kin to Edith, Anna’s mother, and also to the Lanham who married Dad’s cousin Mary Jane Tilley in Vevay). Cora was still single and worked with Mrs. Alice Smith Conn as assistant “trimmer” when they put in millinery at Howe Bros. in 1891. The younger girls were still in school. Nannie had a lovely voice; one of my early memories was hearing her sing. She married well --  Otto Oster from Eminence -- and Julson[?] Oster was their son. And of course Cora married Mr. Sutton[?], a wealthy merchant from Ohio who then helped out the whole family.

Well, I clean forgot about the oldest sister, who married Mr. Calvert, then a druggist at Worthville; Marion’s mother (I think she had another child who was older and died.)

A segment of the Sanborn Fire Insurance map for Carrollton in 1898
[This paragraph was difficult to read and follow.] Next to Wilsons, between them and the [Charles David] Salyers house, and Mrs. Davis, the widowed daughter of “Uncle Dave” Bridges,  . . . [who] moved in with her four sons.  Scott Wilson [Davis], the older boy, such a nice boy, too. (R.J. [Wilson] was born after we moved to Carrollton or just about that time.) . . . Anyway, the in-between house belonged to John Davis.  . . .  He lived there with his wife and daughter. They too belonged to the Christian Church. The Wilsons were strong Baptists; Mrs. Wilson was Aunt Prudy’s older sister, their name was Scott, of a good Carroll County family.

And just now it has come to me: The Hanks family, Mrs. Atha Gullion’s brother’s people, lived in the big house where Cay[?] Tandy lives now [referring to the 1940s], opposite Forbes’s on 7th and Seminary. Uncle Tom Salyers married a Hanks (the second time). I suppose she was kin, but I don’t know how close.

. . . The next houses to the C.D. Salyers home . . .  were those of the two Renschler brothers, Gus and Billy, both good carpenters with happy-looking . . . wives, excellent cooks, and several children apiece. Ida, one of the girls, afterwards married John Kuhlman, Harry’s son, and Clara, another girl, married Andy Westrick, I think. The Westricks were not in town when we came. They were still living in Hunters Bottom and farming. There was a big German colony down there, some Catholics, some Protestants; the Westricks and Fellers though were mixed with French, as it is easy to trace yet. Mrs. John Hill [and] Mrs. Henry Kuhlman were Westricks, I believe, and Mrs. Pete Feller was kin some way, besides marrying a Westrick girl.

Across the street, on the left (on Sixth St.) from the Renschler’s was the Stratton house, a rambling big frame (corner of Clay Street). The two daughters were already grown, and Ida had married Norvin Green and moved to the farm out near Worthville. She had a boy and girl near my age who were often my companions in the early days as their mother used to let them visit at their grandmother’s. Norvin [Junior] and Cora were their older children.   . . .  Of course she had others: Dan, Joe (who died in the World War, or rather after he came back from it), Bess, who taught school -- you remember -- at the Old College when it began to be used again as a Public School, and Francis. Her husband had a brother, Joe, who used to come in often to the Stratton’s during the eighties and in that way met Nannie King when she stayed at the Salyers home and went to school. They became very good friends, in fact sweethearts.  . . .  But Mr. King bitterly opposed Nannie’s marriage to Joe and broke up the match.  . . .  Miss Lou Stratton, the other sister of the house, taught school for some time, and it is said she loved to wear beautiful clothes, hats with plumes, a wine-colored satin dress, etc.  . . .

A portion of the previous paragraph in Sarah's handwriting
Next door to Strattons (still on 6th between Clay and Polk) was the McElrath house -- at least I suppose they lived there then, as they did in the nineties. Mr. McElrath was a lawyer, a very bright man, but peculiar looking, with small, bright eyes and bushy whiskers, quite tall.  . . .  His wife had two daughters, one his, Helen (who married Fletcher Peters)  . . .  and one older by her first husband (deceased), Ida.  . . .  Miss Ida married first Harry Stringfellow, who died, leaving a tiny son, who at the time we went to Carrollton was almost 9 or 10; she had married again, a brother of the Pryor sisters; he went as consul to Cuba, and there his daughter was born and named “Catalina Cuba Pryor."  . . .

On the corner of 6th and Polk, left side, was the low brick building. I am “hazy” about who lived there in 1890, but soon after George James and his wife went there to live, and he kept a store there for many years. The “James Brothers” (no kin to Jesse, I imagine, though they came from Indiana) were named Elmer and George. Both of them came to the Methodist Church. . . .

Just across the street, where Miss Katie Vallandingham and her parents lived afterwards, I think her uncle the Baptist minister (at that time not preaching regularly, but in the business) with his wife and little Mary, their daughter, afterwards one of my friends when they kept the Vallandingham house in the Vance mansion on 5th Street, where Brother Williams lived, and where we had the nice parties at various times. And of course from the house to the corner of Taylor Street was the schoolhouse and the big yard, surrounded by a high fence.

Only three houses occupied the square on the right side -- on the corner of Polk & 6th was the home of Mr. And Mrs. “Jule” Geier; she was the sister of the Gullions, Ed and Emmett, and a devout Methodist like the latter. (I imagine Ed had joined the Christian church with his wife, Miss Atha.) The Geier children, Florence and Frances (Frances was a little baby in 1890 or at least a small child; Florence about five), could slip right across to school (when they became of school age). Across a big, fine garden (vegetable) was the double house in one side of which lived Mr. & Mrs. Emmett Gullion and their two girls, Mildred and Louise. . . .  (Mildred married Joe Morris and was the mother of H.H. and Jo Campbell, and Louise of course married Mr. Harrison and had Emmett Hollis[?] and Tommy.  . . . 

The other side of the house was occupied by “S.” Williams (whose mother was Miss Sue’s sister), the father of Paul Williams and Agnes, who was my schoolmate. (She married O. M. Hardesty.)

Across the street from the double house lived the Gaunt family, I believe families, for I think both of them lived in the same house, one on each side. They were attorneys (and their name was pronounced Gant). “John M.” was a pompous “large-tummied” man without children; his wife was named “Chella.”  . . . “Jim” Gaunt was another matter. He was “slick looking” tho he had a wife and a little girl, Kathleen, and a boy, Alfred. His wife was sickly.  . . .   After his wife died, he married Eva Rice . . .  a very handsome girl, much younger than he, and they seemed to live very happily down in Tennessee.

                          ********************  To Be Continued  ********************